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Real Estate

Overview

With a deep understanding of the legal and business issues of this area of the industry, we are committed to helping clients through the process--from concept to completion.

RWG attorneys help both public and private sector clients to buy, sell, finance, and restructure real estate. We have structured transactions through a number of market cycles and have led our clients into new structures and new capital sources as the industry has adjusted to dynamic market conditions. We help clients manage the conflicting needs of other public agencies, developers, lenders, tenants, and other stakeholders to find common ground and appropriate, cost-effective solutions.

Our work ranges from large-scale development and construction projects to portfolio acquisitions and sales and leasing work to the most complex financing structures and investment management strategies. Our attorneys serve as transaction counsel to many of the state’s leading public and private real estate developers and investors, including governmental entities, real estate investment managers, advisors, fund sponsors, and real estate operating companies.

RWG's real estate attorneys have a wealth of diversified experience and expertise and are knowledgeable regarding all types of real estate transactions and have represented clients in connection with easements and encroachment permits, multi-million dollar syndicated construction loans for multi-state projects, unimproved properties to be preserved as open space or entitled and developed, and dilapidated developments in need of redevelopment.

We advise public and private sector clients with regard to a range of property types, often in the context of public/private partnerships, including:

  • commercial
  • hotel
  • affordable and multifamily housing
  • industrial
  • land
  • major retail centers
  • office buildings
  • residential

SPECIALTIES

Acquisitions & Dispositions

Buying and selling real estate is the backbone of the industry — and the backbone of our practice. We provide ongoing legal counsel to our clients in connection with the acquisition and sale of real properties through investment vehicles formed by such clients. We structure complex indirect purchases and sales through transfers of equity interests, and assist with the purchase and sale of assets by direct transfers of real property, real property-secured loans, and ownership interests in entities that own and operate real property.

Commercial Leasing

We focus on responsiveness and cost-efficiency, using a multi-disciplined team approach to help clients structure, negotiate, and close leases on extremely favorable terms. We have relevant and specific experience in ground lease and space lease transactions involving many of California’s public agencies and municipalities. Our practice is anchored by specialists who have prepared and negotiated leases covering millions of square feet, and for every type of use, including office, retail, and industrial. We advise owners, leasing agents, property managers, and tenants on all aspects of office, industrial, retail, and other commercial real estate leasing arrangements.

Development & Construction

RWG offers the full spectrum of services needed to successfully realize time-sensitive development opportunities. From site evaluation, due diligence, acquisition, condemnation, permitting, zoning, and financing, to construction, leasing, and disposition, we take a proactive approach to addressing issues before they become problems. We assist with architect and construction contracts, project management agreements and related documents, and provide counsel to developers, investors, corporate owners and managers of real estate, nonprofit institutions and organizations, and lenders in large-scale projects of all kinds.

Financing

Our attorneys structure complex transactions to address the immediate and long-term needs of all parties and regularly devise financial and tax strategies that reconcile the conflicting demands of all parties involved. We have advised clients on financing vehicles that include refinancing, off-balance sheet, conduit/securitized, mezzanine, equity, and revolving credit loans for the acquisition, development, and construction of residential, commercial, office, industrial, and mixed-use projects.

Additionally, we have experience working with joint ventures in the formation of partnerships, limited liability companies, and corporations for the acquisition, development, operation, and sale of real estate. We have also been involved with workouts and foreclosures in connection with loan defaults and disputes between partners/members or real estate operating companies.

Real Estate & Land Use

Our attorneys simplify and expedite the review and permitting process at all stages, advising clients on the complexities and transactional demands that typically arise. We regularly work with, and appear before, regulators and review boards at all levels of government and are experienced in resolving complex legal issues and overcoming regulatory hurdles and coordinated local opposition that controversial developments can face. In addition, we have extensive experience in coordinating the negotiation processes with the entitlement and public approval process, including monitoring CEQA compliance, presenting complicated agreements to city councils, and drafting summary reports, findings, and resolutions. 

PRACTICE HIGHLIGHTS

We have extensive experience in real estate capital management, institutional and pension fund equity and debt investment, development and permitting, leasing and foreign investment. Among other significant matters on which we are currently engaged, we have:

  • served as counsel to a European agency lender that owns $6 billion of real estate loans and assets in the United States on workouts, loan sales, asset management and litigation matters, including the sale of a portfolio of more than $1 billion in complex mortgage and mezzanine loans;
  • represented the developer of a 56-story tower containing a luxury hotel and condominiums in Boston's Back Bay, which will be the third tallest building in Boston;
  • represented a public REIT in the development of a 1,500,000-square-foot life sciences office and laboratory campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts;
  • and represented one of the world's largest retail companies in site assembly, acquisitions, ground leases, permitting and the development of dozens of new stores, expansions and conversion projects throughout New England.

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Richards, Watson & Gershon delivers practical advice and solutions tailored to the unique needs of public entities. Working seamlessly across offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Orange County, Temecula and the Central Coast, our dedicated team of experts provides the full scope of public law services.

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RWG consistently monitors developments that impact our private and public agency clients. Our frequent e-alerts serve to provide our unique insights into these developments.

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